Microsoft and Telstra are considering a strategic alliance to bring together business software applications, mobile services and devices, and integrated computer and telephone services over Telstra's Next IP and Next G networks.
The alliance intends to offer a range of next-generation services that are simple to install and use, and require lower maintenance than many current offerings. Services being considered include hosted business applications, mobile services and devices, and unified communications.
The companies plan for the first products to be introduced in market by mid-2009. An array of business and government segments are expected to benefit from the new services, including a combination of telephony, email, mobility, conferencing, collaboration and tools.
Tracey Fellows, Microsoft Australia's managing director, said the planned alliance would provide small and medium sized businesses -- of which there are over 1.8 million in Australia -- access to products and services that were formerly available only to large companies with well-resourced IT budgets and infrastructure.